Matt’s Weekly Reads, October 22, 2022


Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: Little Women, Rey Terciero with illustrations by Bre Indigo (2019),

After loving The Secret Garden on 81st Street, I couldn’t wait to read more in the Classic Graphic Remix series, which reimagines juvenile literary classics as graphic novels in vibrant, contemporary urban settings. And I cannot imagine a better contemporary revisioning of Little Women than this one, which finds our four heroines as teenagers in Brooklyn being raised by their mother, an overworked nurse, while their father is deployed overseas in Iraq.

Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story is its recognizable, charming-if-sentimental, self, even as our ‘little women’ grapple with very twenty-first century questions — questions of privilege and poverty, gender and sexual identity, racism, and illness. I genuinely loved this one!

Read this if you’re interested in:

  • Middle Grade
  • Graphic Novels
  • New York City
  • Family
  • Social Issues
  • LGBTQ2S+
  • Military Families

My Rating, 9.5/10

Weekly Roundup

The Stone Child, David A. Robertson (2022), 7.5/10: Picking up immediately after the events of The Great Bear, this installment in the Misewa series follows Morgan and Emily as they try to save Eli, whose soul has been stolen by a monster living in the far north. After the wonderful highs of the first two in the Misewa series (see here and here), this one was a slight disappointment, mostly because of it felt like this was two books that were mashed together into one. Despite these structural issues, it was really great to be with Morgan, Eli, and Emily again and to spend more time in Misewa. (Indigenous perspectives, YA, Fantasy, Portal Stories)

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Sara Gran (2011), 8/10: Haunted by losses from the past, Claire — the self-identified ‘best Private Investigator in the world’ — returns to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to solve the mystery of a lawyer’s disappearance. This was great in a noir sort of way, and really brought the despair of post-Katrina New Orleans to life. (Mystery, Detective Stories, New Orleans, Noir)

A Gentleman’s Position, K.J. Charles (2016), 9.5/10: K.J. Charles does it again in this third and final installment in the Society of Gentlemen series. So often historical romance suggests the only thing stopping relationships across class boundaries was arrogance or fear of social rejection. This series does a masterful job of rejecting that trope, showing just how hard the social realities of the nineteenth century made it for love to ‘conquer all.’ Here we have at last, after being teased for two books, the story of Lord Richard Vane and his valet (and not-so-secret impossible crush) David Cyprian. Can these two men, who have been circling each other for years, get out of their own way and do the hard work it will take to retrain their expectations and understanding of the world to be together? (Romance, Historical, Class Boundaries, LGBTQ2S+)

Raven Brings the Light, Roy Henry Vickers (2013), 9/10: This is a beautiful telling of a traditional Haida story about how Raven brought the sun into our world. I enjoyed the story and the beautiful illustrations that accompanied it in this edition. (Indigenous Perspectives, Myths and Legends, Tricksters)

Dancing on our Turtle’s Back, Leanne Simpson, 2011, 8/10: In this book, which I believe is Simpson’s first, she traces her own journey towards developing a thoroughly Indigenized approach to life, research, and academia. As such, this is a book that’s hard to rank or critique, since, as a White man from a settler background, I am not the intended audience or in a position to comment. I will say that it is a hopeful reflection on and example for Indigenous resurgence that is not afraid to challenge the Canadian status quo. (Indigenous Perspectives, Decolonization, Anishinaabe Culture, Cultural and Academic Theory, Myths and Legends)

Idol, Kristen Callihan (2016), 6/10: If you’re a fan of rock-star romances as a trope, you’ll likely enjoy this outing. It starts from a fun premise: A young woman finds a stranger passed out naked and drunk on her front lawn but quickly has her first impressions challenged as she gets to know him. Unfortunately, for me at least, the rest of the story didn’t quite live up to the promise of the premise, and it quickly devolved into a pretty non-descript romance. It was fine, but I’ve certainly seen the rock-star romance done a lot more interestingly. (Romance, Rock-Star, Substance Use, Fame)

The Bullet that Missed, Richard Osman (2022), 7.5/10: In this third book in the wonderful Thursday Murder Club series, our resourceful and delightfully dogged seniors tackle a decade old cold case of a young journalist killed while investigating a money laundering operation. It has all of the charm and intelligence of the first two in the series, and a satisfying conclusion, but I have to admit that I got a bit lost in the weeds here. It took me over half way through to feel I understood the cast of suspects enough to care about the mystery. (Mystery, Seniors Solving Crime, Dementia, Aging, Fame)

2 responses to “Matt’s Weekly Reads, October 22, 2022”

  1. […] on our Turtle’s Back, Leanne Simpson, 2011, 8/10: See my October 22 post for my review of this exploration of the possibility of a decolonized and Indigenized approach to […]


  2. […] Theory’, or methodology (see Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s Dancing on our Turtle’s Back (see my October 22 post for my review) for another example of this genre). And in this light, I’m not sure the book is as […]


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